With its $4 billion hold on the e-commerce market in Latin America, Mercado Libre has been often compared to Amazon, dominating the market across the region. But unlike Amazon, the company has faced, and tried to overcome, a structural disadvantage: Many of the consumers in its target market lack credit cards, bank accounts, or both. The challenge has forced Mercado Libre to master not only the logistics of e-commerce but also fintech, where it has innovated to acculturate its target audience to buying online through contactless payments and prepaid cards.
Now the company may be at the most pivotal moment of its nearly 22-year history. Mercado Libre thrived during the pandemic, reporting 61% growth in unique active users in the first quarter of 2021. Items sold jumped to 222 million, growing 110% year over year. Will this be a blip or a lasting trend? The company is betting it will last, doubling its workforce to meet this demand.
How has Mercado Libre built an e-commerce empire in a region with far less digital access on average than developed countries? How does it compete in a world dominated by Amazon? What fintech innovations is it pioneering? And how does the company see consumer behavior evolving in Latin America and elsewhere in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Hear more about commerce in Latin America from Mercado Libre’s chief marketing officer Sean Summers at Signal 2021. Register here now!